Dark Star Orchestra delivered a belated Christmas present on Saturday with the upload of their entire second set from 8/31/02 on YouTube. The performance saw the venerable Grateful Dead tribute act performing at Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, WV as part of the Summer Of Love festival.
This being a festival appearance, this show saw DSO welcome numerous special guests to the stage. These included the entirety of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey which at the time consisted of keyboardist Brian Haas, bassist Reed Mathis, and drummer Jason Smart.
This performance marked the band’s first at Marvin’s Mountaintop and, though they had nothing left to prove after going strong for the past five years, they came in hot for this second set. The show wasn’t meant to replicate any particular Grateful Dead show, as the band is known for their recreations of classic concerts. Instead, the band members let the music guide them, kicking off with “Shakedown Street” to get the mountaintop moving.
From there, DSO kept the energy up with “Dancing In The Street”, only to slow things down a bit with a tender “So Many Roads”. After that, it was time to venture out into the unknown once again with an exploratory “Playing In The Band” which would usher in “Drums”. It was during “Drums” that DSO welcomed a drum raid from the members of JFJO who joined in on percussive instruments from the side of the stage. During the ensuing “Space” was when Haas, Mathis, and Smart joined the group in earnest on their respective instruments and stuck around for the post-“Space” “Dark Star” which would emerge as a concert highlight.
After the far-out “Dark Star” and a farewell to the special guests, it was time to bring audiences back down to Earth again, which they did with a grounded “I Need A Miracle” followed by “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider” to wrap up set two. For the encore, Dark Star Orchestra returned to the stage for a rocking “Greatest Story Ever Told” which transitioned into The Band‘s “The Weight” to close the show.
Watch archival footage of Dark Star Orchestra’s 8/31/02 set two performance at Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, WV. Considering this video was uploaded for free, the band has asked those who are able to consider making a donation to their “Help On The Way” initiative to support their out-of-work crew.
Dark Star Orchestra – Marvin’s Mountaintop – Masontown, WV – 8/31/02 – Set Two
[Video: Dark Star Orchestra]
This footage joins the archival video that the band shared last week of set one from the same gig.
Dark Star Orchestra – Marvin’s Mountaintop – Masontown, WV – 8/31/02 – Set One
[Video: Dark Star Orchestra]
Setlist: Dark Star Orchestra | Marvin’s Mountaintop | Masontown, WV | 8/31/02
Set One: One More Saturday Night, Dire Wolf, Cassidy, Visions of Johanna, Me & My Uncle -> Big River, Tons of Steel, Brown Eyed Women, Let It Grow
Set Two: Shakedown Street -> Dancing In The Streets, So Many Roads -> Playing In The Band -> Drumz -> Space  -> Dark Star  -> I Need Miracle -> China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider
Encore: The Greatest Story Ever Told -> The Weight
 Drum Raid with Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
 with Brian Haas (keyboards); Reed Mathis (bass) and Jason Smart (Mickey drums)